NUPL will file cases vs Duterte in 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) agreed to file a series of cases against President Rodrigo Duterte once his term ends in 2022.
Among the cases to be filed will be crimes against humanity, NUPL national chairperson Neri Colmenares said in a statement on Saturday.
During its fifth Congress, NUPL also agreed to sue “state security forces” for the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) and other human rights violations.
“The justice system in the Philippines is unable to provide legal remedies to victims of EJK and other human rights violations because as President Duterte claims, he is immune from suit,” Colmenares said.“That is why we will pursue more cases against him in the UN and other international mechanisms for now.”
He added that more charges would be filed before international bodies such as the United Nations.
Such charges are “preparations” for more cases to be filed domestically once the President’sterm ends in 2022, Colmenares added.
“President Duterte cannot even promise members of the police and military that they will not go to prison because even President Duterte himself cannot escape criminal accountability once he steps down from office,” Colmenares said.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Colmenares said that aside for being charged with crimes against humanity, Duterte would also face raps for grave threats.
“That’s why I’m very surprised when he always says: ‘Is it a crime to threaten to kill people?’ Of course, it’s a crime. You cannot threaten to kill people and you don’t commit a crime,” he said.
According to Colmenares, the President will also face civil cases for damages for the EJK victims.
Meanwhile, in the same statement, NUPL president Edre Olalia that charges would also be filed against members of the Philippine National Police who “refuse to investigate the killings while filing harassment cases against activists.”
“There have been reports of the scheme of the police of filing complaints against activists purposely using a false address so that the accused will not be able to answer the summons of the prosecutors,” Olalia said.
“Should we find that prosecutors purposely and maliciously filed cases against activists without undertaking due diligence in ensuring that the accused are given the chance to counter these complaints, we will not hesitate to also file administrative cases against them,” he added.
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